EduCation · FOCUS FINLAND 2011 Entrepreneurs turn a successful physical education programme into an exciting learning product for the international market. By RANDEL WELLS PhotoS By JUHA VILLANEN AND PHILIPP SEIDEL / VFL WOLFSBURG-FUSSBALL n 40 Who sAys leARning cAn't be Fun? early 1.5 million Finnish school children have participated in Liikuntaseikkailu (sports adventure). The programme encourages well-being by having children record their activity time and work towards a common goal. "The core concept is very simple, and that's the strength of it," remarks Juha Villanen, co-founder of Muuvit, creators of Muuvit Adventure. "But commercialising know-how from educational institutions can be challenging," recalls Villanen. "We went through dozens of concepts before settling on this one." Muuvit Adventure combines adventure with learning, creating a whole new product. Classes go on a three-week discovery, earning kilometres by exercising and then using these kilometres to travel through an exciting virtual world. Using a network of small, specialised players, the primary content and technology was built in less than one year. The Muuvit product is a flexible framework that is tailored to local needs. "We constantly add to the adventure. There are interesting ideas everywhere," says Villanen. "Thanks to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the World Heart Federation, we have Eat for Goals, where famous footballers present their own recipes in their home cities." In many societies, the pressure on children to get good grades is very high, potentially ruining the entire school experience. Muuvit Adventure makes learning a participatory experience, helping bring fun back into school. www.muuvit.com
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